Wednesday, September 24, 2008

More on "health"

I was thinking last night as I crawled in to bed too late that I should also mention a few things. Health is an interesting concept because we assume it is always a bad thing to get sick. We miss work/school/chores, we feel awful and then usually we pass it around too. But, our immune system is a dynamic force, going up and down depending on our state of health including sleep, nutrition, stress, etc. So, when we start running ourselves down (too much stress, not sleeping right, not getting exercise and a diet filled with empty calories and sugar) we are setting ourselves up for illness. No magic bullet (or shot in this case) will cure that. And, even if you DO the right things, you may still get sick. I know, no one WANTS to get sick. But, the way your body responds to threats is how it gets stronger. And on the flip side, a person who NEVER gets sick should be concerned too. That could mean your system is so overwhelmed that it is not responding properly to threats. And, people who get sick all the time could mean that your system is on overload and is reponding to any and all threats that come its way. What I have noticed is that when I use homeopathy, supplements, rest, etc. at the first sign of illness I can rebound within a few days rather than my usual course of sore throat, then the mucous/running nose/sneezing, then it moves into my chest and I am awake coughing for a week, etc. I end up stopping the bug at the sore throat phase with early intervention and natural medicine. Before, it ALWAYS progressed, and in the same manner each time. But, am I guaranteed not to get the full blown flu? No way. But, the more diligent I am about my diet, stress management, supplements when the bugs are more prevalent, etc. the more likely it will be milder if I do get it. I know when I am fighting something because I am EXHAUSTED. That level of "I could just lay down at 10 am for a nap" exhausted. And that is what ideally I should do, take a nap. But, listening to my body is not always what I do. But, it gives us hints about what its threat level is. That fatigue could be telling you that you are fighting a bug and it needs more rest to fight appropriately. What we need to understand as a society we are ALL exposed to things all day everyday, unless you are an agoraphobe and stay inside your home, never bringing things in. And usually our system is strong enough to fight things off which is why it never progresses.

And, mental state/attitude has a lot to do with level of health. I know it sounds corny but how you look at things DOES impact how you feel. Do you know any "Eeyore" types? The doom and gloom people, woe is me, and often times they are sick or have chronic conditions that ail them. Now one could reverse that and say maybe it is the ailment/chronic condition that makes them so gloomy. But, it would be an interesting experiment to see if changing their attitudes would change their health. So, maintaining health should be a multipronged approach with focus on many aspects of your life. Balance is key. And I know personally, that is very hard. Life is busy. But, I think many times we need to refocus on what is truly important. Recently I made a decision to get less involved in my community. That has been something I have been passionate about from day 1 of moving here. But, lately it has been a drain dealing with others' negative attitudes. Plus with the additional work with Matthew's DAN! protocol and more research to do and more things to learn, I just realized THAT is where my focus (and limited free time) has to be. Put the energy where your heart is and my heart is my family. So, that means scaling back some things so I can fit some other things in that I love, yoga, training for another triathlon, scrapbooking, crafting, etc. Now even though I will be less involved I will still be involved, just not to the level I once was because I still care about our community. But, my main focus has to be my husband, kids and their education and health and of course ME. The person who usually gets forgotten in the equation. But, as cold and flu season begins, more me time could mean less down time if I do focus some of that energy and care on myself. It is an interesting experiment, one that I plan to try and implement this year. We'll see what happens. Besides, who has time to get sick, moms don't get days off anyways! :)

2 comments:

Shari Goodman said...

Kudos! I agree completely and am doing the same thing. It is hard to give so much to everyone else and have anything left. Balance is the key. Our families are first.

M_&_Em's_Momma said...

Thanks Shari!! Balance is the key and yet so hard to find at times...